In very sad news, former Sabres defenseman Steve Montador has passed away at the age of 35. His issues with concussions and depression had been documented in the past, although a cause of death has not been released yet.
The news was first reported by TVA's Renaud Lavoie, but quickly expanded upon by The Mississauga News. Montador was found dead at his home according to police. A friend found him inside at about 2 a.m., and he was pronounced dead at 2:30. Police do not expect foul play.
Montador played from the Sabres from 2009 to 2011, playing 164 games in Buffalo. He also spent time in his NHL career with Calgary, Florida, Anaheim, Boston and Chicago. He most recently played with Zagreb Medvescak of the KHL.
Montador spoke with CSN Chicago in 2013, detailing the struggles he faced towards the end of his career.
Montador had a lot of dark days over the last year, which he called a "roller coaster." Being ill and away from the game he loves, Montador said he suffered from depression.
"I can see why people have a hard time with a number of different things and being taken away from something they love to do and not sure if you'd ever get back the chance. There's a lot of uncertainty, a lot of fear, a lot of anxiety and depression that comes with that," said Montador. "I've had a lot of help to work through that and I feel like I've taken the right steps.
Many former Sabres team mates have expressed their condolences on Twitter.
RIP Steve Montador. Monty laughed a lot and made the rink a fun place. So sad. Just spent some time with him this summer.— Ryan Miller (@RyanMiller3039) February 15, 2015
R.I.P. Steve Montador. Sad to hear, great person and a great teammate.— Jhonas Enroth (@JEnroth125) February 15, 2015
Sad to hear the passing of a friend and great teammate Steve Montador. #restinpeace— Patrick Kaleta (@patrick_kaleta) February 15, 2015
So sad to hear the passing of my former teammate Steve Montador. I will always remember how good you were to me as a rookie Monty. #RIP— Luke Adam (@LukeJAdam) February 15, 2015
When these sort of things happen it really puts this all in perspective. If it was an issue with concussions, is it worth it? It seems like he was just in a Sabres slug jersey yesterday, and now he's gone. It's terribly sad, and a reminder that hockey extends beyond those ad-riddled boards.